The diocesan learning community for mission & ministry
The purpose of St Peter’s is to encourage and affirm the flourishing of lay and ordained ministries among the people of God. The vision is that of a learning community that discerns, develops and forms the gifts that the people of God bring to the mission and ministry of the church. It aims to provide high quality training that is both relevant and appropriate as we seek to grow a mixed economy church in the Diocese of Sheffield.
Being equipped and formed for ministry and mission takes a lifetime! This process of life-long learning is to encourage the people of God to grow and develop in important areas of discipleship and ministry. The Church has identified these as:-
- Christian Faith and Discipleship
- Mission, Evangelism and Growing Disciples
- Spirituality and Worship
- Personality and Character
- Relationships and Community
- Collaboration and Shared Leadership
- Vocation and Ministry within the Church of England
Within each of these areas there are three important facets namely:
This is concerned with who a person is, what motivates and energises them and what habits they have. The goal is developing Christ-like character and therefore underpins all other giftings in service and ministry. This is often discerned relationally and developed through a combination of learning, experience, reflection and prayer.
Knowledge and understanding are signposts to the learning that is needed to equip people for discipleship and service. The people of God are called to learn and be shaped by the Holy Spirit within the community of faith.
The skills and abilities necessary for effective service and ministry. While natural skills and abilities may be an indication of gifting for ministry, skills can and should be further honed, practised and reflected upon.
It is only when these are also present that genuine formation for ministry occurs.
At the heart of the St Peter’s College are the following principles and values:
- To be a Christian disciple is to be a learner - it’s a life-long process and a life-giving spiritual virtue
- Learning is set in the context of worship and is considered to be part of our worship - as it involves a giving of ourselves to God and others; learning more about God, the world and others; a living out of our individual and communal callings
- Learning is transformational as it requires a willingness to be challenged and changed, leading to personal transformation and the transformation of practice
- We learn as the Body of Christ not as a collection of individuals. Hence we are a learning community and this community is at its most effective when participants are committed to the mutual flourishing and edification of every member
- In the learning environment we aim to value the life experiences and insights of all participants - for all contribute to the learning experience
- We encourage learners to be teachers, and teachers to be learners too!
- We aim to provide a safe space where participants are open to learn from those who are different from themselves and are willing to step out of their comfort zone in order to review what they believe and why. This therefore asks participants to be vulnerable, respectful and hospitable towards new ideas and others
- Learners are encouraged to study at a level appropriate for them and the calling on their lives.
St Peter’s is a virtual institution but delivers its courses through face to face learning using different venues in the Diocese supported by a virtual learning environment (VLA).
St. Peter’s is an integral part of the structures of the Diocese and have its own staff and ethos.
We launched the website for St Peter’s on 1st October 2016 with the integration of most of our existing courses and programmes. We are currently developing the Virtual Learning Environment and new initiatives in lay discipleship which will be accessible September 2017.
 As stated in ‘Forming and Equipping The People of God for Ministry and Mission’, Ministry Council of the Church of England(2014)